Pink Floyd legend and multi-instrumentalist David Gilmour has become embroiled in a contract dispute with the composer of a well-known and popular jingle that can be heard at train stations throughout France.

The jingle, originally composed by Frenchman Michael Boumendil, is used by French national railway company SNCF throughout its 20,000 mile network. Gilmour, who joined Pink Floyd in 1967, first heard the jingle when travelling across France in 2013. In an interview with Le Parisien in 2015, he claimed that the up-baet 2-second piece made him “..want to sing and dance”. Gilmour subsequently contacted sonic branding specialist Boumendil, asking if he could use the jingle in a separate song.

Alledged breach of contract

Once Boumendil realised that the request was genuine and that he wasn’t being pranked, an agreement was reached between them and SNCF in 2015 and Boumendil received a co-writing credit for the track that Gilmour used the jingle in, ‘Rattle that Lock’. However, in 2016 Boumendil decided to take legal action against Gilmour, seeking £385,000 in damages. He claimed that the notes from the jingle had not been used as agreed, stating that their contract allowed for the notes to be replayed but did not allow the same recording to be interpolated.

Boumendil’s claim was ultimately rejected in May 2018, with the court saying that he had taken far too long to query the contract terms and the use of the jingle. He was also ordered to pay Gilmour’s legal fees. Boumendil is currently appealing the decision.

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